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What do the candles on the advent wreath symbolize?

More light!

Adam at A Wee Blether reads a church bulletin and has a revelation:

“As the darkness deepens and winter comes, each week we light one more candle to speak of our hope for the coming light. Much has been made of the symbolism of the Advent wreath, each candle given a particular meaning. Actually, it is the action of lighting one more candle in the darkness that bears its deepest meaning.”

As Rick McCall, professor of liturgics at EDS, likes to ask, “Why did Christians start putting candles on the altar? So they could see.”

Why do we add more candles at Advent? Because it’s getting darker.

There should probably also be echoes of the Easter Vigil candlelighting, in slow motion.

All the other meanings assigned are mnemonics for what’s happening in the lectionary.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. Halo | December 14, 2008 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Well, I think they simbolize that Jesus is coming and reminds us that Jesus will come again in his glory. I do also think its light but, its also a time to reflect on certain things in the last year. :)

  2. Phil | December 30, 2008 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Well, of course light itself is a powerful symbol, and I don’t mean to diminish that; Christians have been using light as a symbol for Christ for a long, long time.

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